On the way: Pallbearer (3/20) and JJ Grey (4/28)

February 10th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

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Pallbearer, a metal band from Little Rock, will bring their tour to Fayetteville in March. You’ve been alerted/warned.

I try to take a neutral stand on upcoming concerts. Except when I can’t because I’ve already gushed about the artists involved.

Two artists on my Best of 2014 albums list have recently announced a tour stop in Fayetteville. The first announcement was for Sturgill Simpson, who performs on March 30. That show is already sold out.

More recently comes word that Little Rock metal titans Pallbearer will perform on March 20 at the Lightbulb Club. I was worried they’ve outgrown that venue, but perhaps not. Admission will be $8, and they’ll be joined by Auric.

While I’m at it, there’s another announcement I’m awfully excited about. JJ Grey and Mofro have recently been confirmed for an April 28 show at George’s Majestic Lounge. Tickets are on sale now for that one.

Spring is looking better all the time.

The Roots Fest adds some Punch (Brothers)

February 9th, 2015 at 10:17 am

The Punch Brothers

The Punch Brothers

It’s festival lineup announcement season.

Which is a better season than winter, if you ask me.

The Fayetteville Roots Festival added their voice to the fray recently, naming many of the artists who will perform during the 2015 edition of the festival. Leading the way are The Punch Brothers, a critically acclaimed bluegrass act with a brand new album.

Joining them are the trio of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, Oklahoma songwriter John Moreland, The Steel Wheels, The Shook Twins, Pokey LaFarge, Martha Scanlan and Smokey & The Mirror.

And two additions to the lineup were announced on Friday — JD McPherson and John Fullbright.

I spoke with festival organizer (and member of Smokey & The Mirror) Bryan Hembree about building the lineup, the festival’s return to the Fayetteville Town Center and what else to expect in 2015. You can read my story from Friday’s What’s Up! section, if you’re a subscriber to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette or its digital products

Tickets for the festival, which takes place from Aug. 27-30 and is headquartered at the Fayetteville Town Centerare on sale now, and they are selling faster than in any previous year, Hembree reports. Tickets start at $49 for a one-day pass and top out at $219 for a four-day VIP pass.

This is a mandolin player and his instrument

February 6th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

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Bryan Ranney

Songwriter Bryan Ranney tells my coworker Allison Carter that people often confuse his instrument of choice — the mandolin — with another smallish stringed instrument, the ukulele.

Hence the ongoing “Not a Ukulele” tour.

The St. Louis-based roots/bluegrass performer and his backing band visit the area for a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 7) at the Cathouse Lounge in Eureka Springs.

In the story, which ran in today’s What’s Up! section, Ranney talks about his traveling partners, his instrument of choice and his unconventional training. You can read the story online, if you’re a subscriber of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette or its digital product.

Admission to the show is free.

The weekend in music with Rochelle Bradshaw and more

February 6th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Rochelle Bradshaw and Hypnotion

Rochelle Bradshaw and Hypnotion

Some say a writer is only blessed with so many words in their brain bank. And when that allotment runs out, their career is over. The ideas just go away.

I don’t think I’m at that point right now, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got a really memorable introduction to this post, either.

I’m just going to skip along to the part you come here for anyway — the live music recommendations.

In celebration of what would be famed reggae singer Bob Marley’s 70th birthday today (Feb. 6), a concert will take place Sunday (Feb. 8) at George’s Majestic Lounge. Performing at the event will be Fayetteville-based Rochelle Bradshaw and Hypnotion, Jamaican reggae performer Duane Stephenson, Jeff Kearney of 1 Oz. Jig and Ciavash Zaifi of Irie Lions. Admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Music begins at 7 p.m.

Want some dynamic, world-influenced jazz?

Singing in four different languages — Portuguese, French, Italian and English — Clarice Assad uses her voice as an additional instrument in her compositions. The native of Brazil is the daughter of a composer, and she too writes and performs. Assad and her trio perform a pair of concerts at the Walton Arts Center on Saturday (Feb. 7). The shows begin at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m, and admission ranges from $15 to $30. Tickets are available by calling 443-5600 or via waltonartscenter.org.

How about some roots music?

Calling themselves “organic song farmers,” Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne perform together as Alder & Hearne. The duo from Texas released its newest album, “Second Nature,” in September and spent four months on the road to promote it. Finally back on the road again after a much-deserved break, Adler & Hearne bring their set to Fayetteville tonight. Their show at the Fayetteville Underground begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $12.

Another show of note in Fayetteville tonight is the Waka Winter Classic, where five local bands will perform for a spot on the Wakarusa festival bill. That show takes place at George’s and features Vintage Pistol, Irie Lions, Crazy Neighbor, Galaxy Tour Guides and Move Orchestra. It should be a good showcase for local music.

What do you plan on seeing this weekend?

Soon in tunes: S. Sean Six, Feb. 4 at the Blue Lion

February 4th, 2015 at 12:39 pm

S. Sean Six

S. Sean Six

Guitarist S. Sean Six calls Colorado home, but he has ties to Arkansas. Specifically, he studied under Paul Mendy, a guitarist at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Six, who has continued to perform and also teaches, visits Fort Smith on Wednesday (Feb. 4) to play at the 200-seat Blue Lion. His show begins at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10, and seats are general admission.

Soon in tunes: Hot Sardines, Feb. 5 at the WAC

February 3rd, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Hot Sardines

Hot Sardines

A hot sardine don’t sound terribly appealing. There’s the fish thing, and heat and …

The jazz bad Hot Sardines, however, are a different story. A blend of traditional jazz and around-the-world influences, the group was assembled by a writer and an actor. It was hobby that took off, and a proper band now tours the country. The group performs Thursday (Feb. 5) at the Walton Arts Center.

Features editor Becca Martin-Brown chatted with band member Evan Palazzo about the group’s ascent and their on-stage antics. You can read her story online [Note: Subscriber content].

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$25 and are available through the venue’s box office.

On the way (with guests): Needtobreathe, April 24 at the AMP

February 2nd, 2015 at 4:08 pm

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If you view the tour teaser trailer above, you’ll see a Rogers date. Officials at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion confirmed the date this morning.

I was told about the possibility of a late April concert that would serve as the opening date for the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion‘s 2015 concert season.

Looks like we have our match.

Christian/Southern rock/bluegrass act Needtobreathe this morning announced their new “Tour de Compadres” and, among those dates, a stop in Rogers.

The tour, with guests Ben Rector, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors and Colony House, visits on April 24.

Needtobreathe and Ben Rector previously performed together at the AMP in 2011 when the venue was still located in Fayetteville.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday (Feb. 6). The venue has yet to announce a ticket price.

Details on the Phases of the Moon and Harvest Fest merger

February 2nd, 2015 at 12:37 pm

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You may have already heard about the newly announced Phases of the Moon Music + Art Festival, which is actually a combined event featuring elements of two that already exist: The Phases of the Moon Festival, formerly of Danville, Ill., and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival, formerly of Mulberry Mountain north of Ozark.

The news surprised a lot of folks, raising questions from fans of both.

I made a point of answering a lot of those questions. Here’s what I can now tell you, definitively:

• The dates for the Phases of the Moon Music + Arts Festival in 2015 are Oct. 16-18, and the venue is Mulberry Mountain

• The name Harvest Festival is no more

Some folks in Danville were sad to see Phases of the Moon depart after a year of operation

• Some folks in our area are sad to see the Harvest Festival brand end

Yonder Mountain String Band, namesake for the past several years, no longer have “direct involvement”

Here’s what I can tell you, semi-definitively:

• The lineup is being assembled now and may be ready for release in March

• The lineup is expected to include elements of both festivals, but how that will look is known only to those booking the artists

• Yonder Mountain String Band may end up on the 2015 lineup, or future lineups, even though they no longer have an official role

• Phases attendance in 2015 might equal the Harvest attendance in recent years, even as organizers hope for a larger Phases event in coming years

I learned all these things courtesy of some research and an interview with the founders of Phases of the Moon, Sam and Berry Shear. You can read my story in Friday’s What’s Up! section [Note: Subscriber content].

What do you think of the idea to combine the festivals?

A Sideshow No More: The End of Randall Shreve and the Sideshow

January 30th, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Randall Shreve and the Sideshow

Randall Shreve and the Sideshow

If there was a Hall of (Almost) Fame for bands from Fayetteville, Randall Shreve and the Sideshow would be a first ballot entry.

It seems this town has produced a disproportionately high number of such acts — groups that got out, found a following nationally, then never caught the great big break that propels them further.

I always enjoyed the music of Randall Shreve and Sideshow, which indeed was as much show as it was substance. But they represented Fayetteville well the last five-plus years, and they need to be commended for that.

Life — and perhaps those five years of near misses — took a toll on the band. After announcing in October that the band would soon be no more, the group continued to honor selected tour dates, mostly regionally.

Until Saturday (Jan. 31), which the band said will be its final performance. The show at George’s Majestic Lounge will feature support from the band of Randall’s brother, Benjamin Del Shreve, and also Me Like Bees and Surf de Soleil.

Music starts about 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

It won’t be the last time the individual members make music, of course. Just the last time together as The Sideshow. Gentlemen, here’s to hoping your next musical project is a success, too.

The weekend in music, with Swampbird and more

January 30th, 2015 at 5:01 am



There’s some kind of game happening this weekend, I hear?

I am aware of a advertising watch party, and an excuse for eating lots of hot wings.

(P.S. I like football. My best guess? Seahawks win 27-21, with a last-minute interception of Tom Brady sealing the deal.)

But let’s face it, there’s much more happening this weekend, including plenty of live music.

Two bands from Little Rock are among the acts to check out.

Swampbird has just finished its third album, which — like its predecessors — combines elements of Southern rock, country and folk. The band will perform songs from the new recording, called “Something to See,” tonight (Jan. 30) at The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville. Also on the bill is Peace of the Sea. The show begins at 10 p.m. Admission is $5.

Also tonight is Little Rock’s Amasa Hines. They perform with locals The Good Fear. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. at the Smoke and Barrel Tavern.

Here’s another morning update — even though Kenny Chesney‘s upcoming “The Big Revival” tour doesn’t pass through the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers until July 30, tickets go on sale this morning. And, unlike most concerts at the AMP, the tickets must be reserved through Ticketmaster.com instead of the Walton Arts Center’s house system. High ticket volume was cited as the reason. Which means it’ll probably sell out in a hurry. Be ready at 9 a.m., if you want those tickets.

Also this weekend, the members of Randall Shreve and the Sideshow perform their final show together. More on that Saturday (Jan. 31) show at George’s Majestic Lounge in a minute.

What’s on your agenda?